I thought I had it all, great job, expensive car, beautiful home, more clothes and shoes then I could ever wear …. yet I felt EMPTY. How was that possible? No matter how great everything appeared on the outside I was somehow looking for more…..but more of what exactly?
I was in the middle of an identity crisis, I was 41 years old and at the age where I thought I would have found my rhythm, set my life on cruise control and coasted into retirement…..but no, I found myself not satisfied and wanting more……more money, more friends, more clothes, more shoes (I had over 80 pairs already, but who’s counting). I wanted more, more, more …. more stuff because I thought these things would make me feel happy, more fulfilled. However as I accumulated more things, I would feel happy, but that feeling would be fleeting and I’d be on to the next thing. What I didn’t realize was that I was trying to fill up the emptiness I felt inside. I would convince myself that another jacket should do it, so that when I walk into a room everyone would notice and compliment me and want what I had, then I would feel important, self assured, successful, envied even. Maybe a new car, one that screams look at me, and then everyone would know that I made it, that my life was great…..look at all my things……the worlds definition of success would declare that I had finally arrived! Yet I didn’t feel like I had …. and so began the journey to try and figure out who I am.
It’s a Sunday morning and I’m watching a TED talk. The title of the talk is A Life With Purpose, maybe that’s what I’m looking for, yes that’s it PURPOSE! The speaker is a guy sitting very relaxed sporting a goatee, blue jeans and a hawaiian shirt. He’s talking about a book he wrote that went on to become the second best selling book next to the Bible.
Ah, the Bible. The book I grew up thinking was a bunch of fairy tales, the land of make believe. The book that only weak people believed and used as a crutch to get through everyday life. A book by the way, I had never read, yet I had developed a strong opinion about and an even stronger opinion of the people who read it and believed it. My worldview up to that point had been defined by consumerism, materialism and capitalism and every other “ism” …… I didn’t believe in religion nor any need for a God, pseudoscience or superstition as a basis of morality or decision making. I believed the science of evolution, I was an atheist. I never really delved any deeper than that and I figured I was a decent human being so if in fact there was a God and this whole business of heaven was real I was getting in anyway.
So once the 20 minute TED talk was over I googled this man in the hawaiian shirt and found out his name was Rick Warren and similar to his Ted Talk his book was titled A Purpose Driven Life. So immediately I grab my ereader, download the book and begin my quest to find meaning and purpose to my life. Go figure……the first chapter is titled……..It All Starts With God. Well I paid for the book I may as well read it. Who knows maybe I will get something out of it anyway. Little did I know that this was no accident and my life was about to change in a dramatic way…….